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Showing posts from 2017

What we are doing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUcT0PdkcUo&sns=emFair winds and following seas :)

View from Reboot

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Looking towards shore and the anchorage. The Sea World resort dining room.

Maumere, Flores, Indonesia

082020ZAUG2017
S 08 37.951
E 122 18.625Crazy trip from South Buru to Maumere. Chandara (Daisy and Steve) and I decided to skip the next two stops on the itinerary. The decision was based on a combination of criterion: easy of entering the anchorage, down time in each anchorage, etc. But the deciding factor was the apparent wind angles from North Buton to Wakatobi and from Wakatobi to Maumere. In both cases they indicated very unpleasant uphill slogs. With a puking XO that was the last thing I needed.I left South Buru in a huff. The anchorage was terrible. Reboot spent most of every day and night rolling. XO spent the same time crying and puking. What was supposed to be a pleasant three to four day beam reach to Maumere turned out to be anything but. The first 24 hours was beautiful. Beam reach, moderate winds, making 6.5 to 7 knots. Then it all went to puppy poo. The winds got light. Combined with what little boat speed Reboot could generate we were looking at an apparent wind angle of …

Weather Helm

Weather, Lee, and Neutral helm describe what one has to do to keep a sailboat going in a straight line. Weather helm means the boat wants to turn into the wind. Lee means it wants to turn away from the wind.Normally one wants a bit of weather helm. If the wind increases suddenly the boat will head up and stall. It is "in irons" or the more current and pathetic term in the "no go zone." There are two inherent problems which require reducing sail as quickly as possible :1. Once the boat is in irons there is no forward motion. It becomes at the mercy of the unmerciful waves. And it falls back off only to be overpowered and head up again. And again. This is not good.2. When running downwind the impact of the boat heading up is that the apparent wind (the wind the boat sees, the vector sum of the boat speed and direction and the wind speed and direction) actually gets stronger. Not good. Since the easiest way to deal with a strong wind is to run away this adds complexit…

Sailing Naked

I am sure this brought forth lewd and lascivious thoughts. Is my blog now appealing to the prurient interest?Lots of things happen before, during and after a rainstorm. Dramatic changes in wind velocity and direction are common. This means one is going to be out in the cockpit and get wet. Perhaps several trips. (There is no point in standing in the rain once the boat is re-trimmed. Unless it is the only vantage point to look for other boats.) Another characteristic is that things happen quickly. I always marveled at my volunteer crew who thought it was OK to take 5 minutes to dress in their foul weather gear as Reboot was going crazy. In the old days I would just jump into the cockpit and do what needed to be done. This usually resulted in a large pile of wet clothing that needed to be dried when the sun came out. Sometimes that was a couple of days.. Now I just strip bare and get a free shower out of the deal. (It is useful to remember I sail solo.) This works because I am in the tr…

Collision Avoidance

Usually being a sailboat in the open ocean is pretty good. Under the COLREGS sailboats have the right of way over everyone except, in order of priority, vessels "not in command"*,) vessels "restricted in their ability to maneuver," and vessels "actively engaged in commercial fishing"**.) In channels "restricted in their ability to maneuver" is pretty common. The big ships stay in the channels, we flirt around the edges. But in the open ocean it is very rare. I just spent the last five hours dealing with a vessel (actually several) restricted in their ability to maneuver. Specifically two ocean going tugs pulling an oil rig. A very big oil rig! This was made more complicated by the presence of several other vessels. With AIS it is somewhat possible to predict the closest point of approach. I say somewhat because wind variations can change the CPA. There is nothing quite like expecting to pass across the bow of a big ship and having the wind die! …

Roll

A little video to demonstrate the roll that leads to sail "snap" in light air. And yes, in tbis video Reboot is pointed upwind. Fair winds and following seas :)

Hard day

Spent the morning working on boat projects.. Went in at noon to a terrible lunch. Spent the afternoon drinking Bintank - the
Iocal beer. Scored a T-shirt for the cost of a case of beer. If I ever get back to the USA chances are I will have a unique piece of flair. Then scored a ball cap. Its good.Back on Reboot. Tide change so we are rolling. Or I am rolling from the beer. Not sure. Probably both.Fair winds and following seas :)

AIS & Internet Position Reports

A relatively recent addition to maritime electronics are Automatic Identification Systems (AIS.) These are ship mounted transponders that both broadcast the ships location, COG and SOG and report the same data from ships in the vicinity. Since they operate on the marine VHF bands their reach is about 25 nautical miles for big ships, 10 to 15 nautical miles for pleasure craft.* They are a real plus for sailboats as we are almost invisible on radar. Under the COLREGS sailboats have almost unlimited privilege. The powered vessels have to stay out of our way. In the old days ships frequently had to be in visual range to see a sailboat. This resulted in lots of close calls. Now they know we are here way out. It is fun to watch them tweek their heading a degree or two to give us a one nautical mile closest point of approach. One nautical mile seems to be the courtesy distance. They are a real safety boost.But, as usual, I digress. An unanticipated benefit of AIS is that it can be a passive …

Passage: Banda to South Buru

Just finished the passage from the Banda Islands to South Buru, Indonesia. It was a two day downwind trip in light air that left me both annoyed and frustrated. A few observations:1. Even gentle seas (less than three feet) with waves abaft the beam can set up a rolling motion that "snaps" the sails. The motion creates a wind that collapses the sail on each roll. This results in a "snap" as the sail fills on the reverse roll. Not only does this beat up the sail but it slows the boat down. The closer to dead down the worse the effect.
2. Solo sailing places constraints that can be very frustrating. When "Harmonic" blew past me with their asymmetric spinnaker I rued my lack of crew. I have a beautiful asymmetric in a sail bag on my bunk. It is difficult but not impossible to rig with two, easy with three, suicidal solo!
3. Some sail configurations are more stable than others. Going "dead down" (wind at 150° to 180° relative) gives me a choice. I can…

Battling Muezzims

In the anchorage in the Banda Islands, Indonesia we are surrounded by mosques. Each mosque performs the "azaan" (call to prayer) and I believe also recite the "salah" (the five daily prayers plus the Friday prayer.) From our somewhat central location in the water we can hear the prayers from several mosques. Since the "muezzim" (the person actually doing the call) is different for each mosque we get a variety of voices. What could easily be a cacophony blends and twists and is actually quite beautiful. It is a shame that I don't understand a word they are saying.It is my understanding that the salah cycle is from sunrise to sunset. This morning I was sleeping in the cockpit and was awakened by the muezzim at about 4 am. Since the call resonated from every mosque I assume this was a special prayer.Fair winds and following seas :)

The real world

Reboot is participating in the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia rally. About 60 boats made it to Thursday Island. We are on our second stop in the Banda Islands. So far we have lost one boat (aground on a reef) and left behind about 5 others to sort various problems in Debut. One boat lost their rudder between TI and Debut. Showing remarkable skill they sailed her 250 nm without a rudder and made it into Debut. But this post is about something different. If one does a back of the envelope calculation this fleet is worth at least 6 million USD. When in Debut some of us had the opportunity to visit a local school. We had a great time. Especially me. I never thought at 70 I would be playing soccer with a bunch of kids. But I did. On reflection I realized that with the exception of their uniforms these children had almost nothing. Each desk had a small empty booklet. But no pencil. One blackboard. Almost none of the things I associate with a school room. Shelves of books? No. Student projects …

Good days, bad days, so so days

Reboot has been underway about 25 hours on our trip to Banda Island. So far the trip has been a mixed bag. After cleaning the islands around Debut we headed almost due west. Unfortunately the wind angle was a little too much downwind. Coupled with a beam sea (which rolls the boat) it was hard to keep the course I wanted to steer. Since then the wind has been up and down and we have had some rain. (Yesterday was hot and sunny.) So the comfort level has been up and down too. I am in company of about 5 other boats from the fleet. It is nice to know I am not alone. But it requires extra care to keep a good separation. Fair winds and following seas :)Underway from Debut to Banda Island, Indonesia 10:22 AM 29 July 2017.

Plan B

This morning was the appointed day for the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia fleet to leave Debut for Banda Island. Even though we planned separately or in small groups there was clearly a consensus path. I was about the tenth boat in line. Obviously the local fishermen didn't get the memo. When the lead boats got to the pass in the reef they discovered that the entire pass was seeded with fishing nets. Not to mention the factory boat and net handling boats. They made an abrupt turn to go to the next opening. In the meantime Steve on Chandra decided to go in a different direction. This would normally be OK except that he had plotted the route that he and I were to take. Except he changed his mind. So I do a 180 and I am now 2 nm behind. Of course he finds a great pass and rabbits. I, on the other hand, come out just in time to be in front of almost all of the boats I was chasing in the first place. My bottom is dirty so I am about 0.1 knot slower. I persevere as everyone passes me.Fair …

Trip to public market

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Photos of the public market.

Wonderful Indonesia

Carton of cigarettes: Australia 270 USD
Indonesia 17.35 USD

Emails

There is a current problem with my email blog feed. To protect both you and me I am turning it off until resolved.

Hearing Voices

Being alone on a sailboat one does not expect to hear voices. And it is weird. There are three sources:1. Your head. As I learned on my solo crossing of the Atlantic.2. Other boats. Sound carries over the water much better than on land. People sitting on a boat quite a distance away can be heard clearly.3. The radios. Most of us leave our radios on all the time as a safety measure. "Hey it looks like you're dragging anchor!" During the day there is a lot of traffic as the radio also is the telephone and the text messaging service. At night they are very quiet. When you are asleep and hear talking your (my) tired brain does not put together it is the radio. I think someone is on the boat. Funny. Fair winds and following seas :)Debut, Indonesia 24 July 2017

In line fuses

I have been having trouble with my cockpit multifunction display. Sometimes it works (when I don't need it.) Sometimes it doesn't (when I am coming into port.) I finally tracked the problem down to erratic supply voltage. The culprit? The in line "marine grade" fuse holder. I learned two lessons:1. "Marine Grade" corrodes like everything else. Maybe slower.2. Never install a fuse behind six anti-theft screws that requires a special tool stored at the bottom of everything to remove.Fair winds and following seas :)Debut, Indonesia 24 July 2017

Australia

A long post...  I arrived in Bundaberg, Australia from Fiji in November 2016. I then headed down to Brisbane and finally Sydney where I sat out the hurricane season. A good thing as Hurricane Debbie did a number on the Northeast coast. Finally I left Sydney and headed up the coast to Horn and Thursday Islands by way of Cairns, Gladstone, Airlie Beach, Lizard, Mt Adolphus, etc. I departed to Debut, Indonesia on July 18, 2017. The good:1. The people are wonderful. They are outgoing and friendly.2. I got a chance to enjoy some great culture in Brisbane and Sydney.3. After a year in the Pacific it was nice to have great Internet, semi-decent marine stores, and good public transportation. 4. I enjoyed a class reunion with people I had not seen in forty years. 5. I got to join a sailboat race in Sydney Harbor. Quite the treat!The not so good: 1. I have been sailing for 60 years. I have been sailing around the world for eight. I have never encountered such consistency difficult conditions. W…

Torres Straight

Sailing through the Torres Straight. This is the water between New Guinea and Australia. Reboot is on a 500 nautical mile leg. It is ugly. The water is very shallow. Usually about 45 feet deep. The winds have been strong ranging from 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35. The result is 6 - 10 foot seas. This would be less of a problem if they were coming from anywhere else. But they are dead on the beam. Reboot is rolling like the proverbialkklp washing machine.  In addition we have all sorts of other challenges. First, the currents. When they are adverse (twice a day) they slow Reboot way down. And cause very large tide rips. Watching the vane steer I am glad I am not hand steering. Apparently another rally boat lost both its vane and electric autopilot. They are hand steering with a tiller. It is so exhausting that they heave to 12 hours a day to rest. Second we have the fishing fleets. That don't have AIS. So they don't show up on the chart plotter. At least they are brightly lit…

Fearless Bird

Late this afternoon as I was working my way through a fishing fleet a bird decided to land on my solar panels. I chased him away for two reasons: birds tend to relieve themselves making quite an unpleasant mess to clean up and my concern that XO might go overboard chasing him.  One of the real downsides of solo sailing is trading sleep and keeping a good watch. In the open ocean encounters are rare. We saw maybe 5 boats in the 37 days it took to cross from Panama to Hiva Oa. Almost everyone has an AIS transponder. They show up on the multifunction display long before you can see them visually. Here in the Torres straight there are lots of fishing boats with no AIS and quite a large number of uncharted buoys. So about every 15 minutes (24/7) one needs to stick one's head up and look around. On one such trip I needed to adjust to adjust the sails. After 8 years I normally do this in the dark. It keeps my night vision intact. (When the moon is up it feels like daylight once your vis…

Pacific Crossing Complete!

Reboot is now in the Arafura Sea. This is bordered by New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia. I feel like my Pacific transit that started on Valentine's Day 2016 is complete. In addition to the Pacific Ocean I have been in the Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea. But they just felt like more Pacific Ocean. I am now far enough through the Torres Straight to feel like the Pacific is done. At least for a while. Yahoo! Fair winds and following seas :)

Adios Australia

Hello Indonesia. Underway from Horn/TI to Debut, Indonesia. ETA 7 days. The adventure continues. Fair winds and following seas:)

Another look at Marine Insurance

Horn and Thursday Islands

We are in the anchorage at Horn Island. This anchorage is better protected from the wind so the boats don't move around quite as much. On the other side of the channel is Thursday Island. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thursday_Island). Its anchorage is exposed to the trade winds. With the wind peaking at over 30 knots it is not a great place to set anchor. Daisy, Steve and I took the ferry over to TI yesterday. It is a small community. We had a great Aussie breckie and then explored the main area of town. Two major reactions: although there are many different stores the selection in each is very limited and prices are at least 25% higher for everything. We did have a beer in the northern most bar in Australia. Which was OK. Then continued our tour. We finally stopped at Customs and Border Protection to see about checking out later in the week. Fair winds and following seas :)

Horn Island Anchorage

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This morning the Sail to Indonesia fleet at Horn Island (across from Thursday Island.) Only a couple of more days...

Cats and Possession!

I realized this post could go several ways. But no, XO is not devil spawn. Nor to my knowledge does he have the heritage of a temple cat. But he is both a very cuddly and possessive cat. He likes to cuddle next to me when I am sleeping. He tucks himself in against my chest. What I find interesting is he always has at least one paw on top of me. It I change and put my hand on top he immediately restores his paw on top!
Fair winds and following seas :)

Years later...

I have owned Reboot for at least a decade. I raced her. I have been cruising the world for 8 years. I have always been dismayed that it is difficult to sail dead down wind. I have taken to gybing downwind. I have looked at cruising spinnakers, in particular the Parasail™ but the price has always been out of reach. In fact when solo sailing it is difficult to use the whisker pole and my light air asymmetric is beyond my ability to use alone. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that putting the main sail out made Reboot get much closer to dead down. Allow me to explain. Reboot prefers to be pulled downwind by the jib. The Monitor™ wind steering prefers it too. And from a safety perspective it is much easier for me to reef the jib from the cockpit then go out on deck to reef the main. (Yes, a furling main would be great if I had the money.) Downwind if I put up the main it blankets the jib. So it is one sail or the other. It turns out that the 4th reef on the main (which is actually th…

Broken Boats

Mechanical things break. Cruising boats, being mechanical things, break. Since I am alone most of the time I quickly assume it is only me. That is not good for my attitude. Since joining the Sail 2 Indonesia rally I am not only in the company of other boats but we all talk to each other. I discovered that I am not the only one who has problems. I feel better. I am not sure if this is good or bad. Fair winds and following seas:)

Internet Arrogance

As I write this I am anchored in Margaret Bay on the east coast of Australia about 100 miles south of the Torres Straight. This is aboriginal country. There is no technology and thus no Internet. While sailing last night I picked up a stray WiFi signal. Just enough to download an email from my bank. I needed to call them. In an effort to further "protect" me the bank introduced "two factor authentication." When you call they want to send a text or email to you with a one time code. Of course there is no cell or Wifi coverage here or for that matter in many of the places I visit. The agent did not know how to deal with someone who did not have text messaging and instant email. So she could not help me because I could not authenticate. Great. Nor was the recording to visit their website amusing.It may come as a great surprise to the "head sheds" in the developed world to discover that cell service and WiFi do not blanket the known universe.BTW cost of usel…

It's not cold anymore!

We have worked our way up to 14 1/2 degrees South it is definitely no longer cold. As I write this just after sunset its 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Quite the change from Sydney. Fair winds and following seas :)

Wind noise - Lizard Island

It was a long and tiring trip from Cairns to Lizard Island. The wind was stronger than forecast gusting to 30 knots. But what made the trip particularly uncomfortable was the 6 to 10 foot waves on the beam. We rolled back and forth the entire way. Lizard Island is reputed to be a great anchorage. And it pretty much is. The "fetch" is short so the waves are low. But the wind has been howling non-stop through the rigging my entire stay. It is blowing 20 to 25 knots across the deck. Being outside is not comfortable. (Consider what the people launching aircraft on a carrier put up with all the time.) The strange thing is that other than its normal sailing around the anchor chain Reboot is just sitting quietly. Well, not quietly when you consider the wind noise. But stable. Very weird. Of course the other downside is that I single hand. Motoring thru an anchorage of 25 other boats to find the perfect spot is just not prudent. So the best spots usually go to others. Fair winds and…

Seagulls and cats

A seagull tried to land on Reboot. XO took offense. Fair wind and following seas :)

MOVREP 020222ZJUL2017

Arrival, Sailboat Reboot
14 39.531 S
145 26.884 E
Lizard Island, QLD, AustraliaAt anchor.
One POB and one cat.Plan two day stayCaptain Roger sends

Departure

Departed Cairns 010000ZJUL2017. Heading up the Great Barrier Reef.

USS Green Bay

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Arrives in Cairns

ICOM IC-M23

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Question: When is an ICOM IC-M23 not an ICOM IC-M23.Answer: Always.And this is the story. I have two handheld radios on board Reboot. Despite changing them, installing new batteries and being very careful in their use they always die long before I am done. Since a handheld is a major safety item in the dinghy I decided I better purchase a new one before heading to Indonesia. Icom™ makes excellent radio equipment. They were my choice. I purchased the IC-M23 as I only needed a budget model. My only concern was the charger. Australia is 240V 50Hz and Reboot is wired for 110V 60Hz. Most new electronics come with "world chargers" as did the Icom. A simple plug adapter and I was good to go. Or so I thought. I was wrong. It turns out that Icom tailors their radios to "country of use." As a world cruiser my answer is of course ALL OF THEM! That is not how it works. My new radio has International and US channel sets but does not have Canadian or ATIS. Interesting. And disap…

AIS and Marine Traffic

Whenever I leave Reboot at anchor I am always concerned that she will drag. In the past there was no way of knowing. Enter AIS and web based tracking systems like Marine Traffic. If the AIS pn Reboot is left on I can get detailed position information from my web browser. It is usually not. Ore than a couple of minutes old. I can look up Reboot and confirm she is still in the same place. Nice. Fair winds and following seas :)

Worst Solar Day

Today is the solstice. If you are "down under" as Reboot is at the moment it is the shortest day of the year. If I was "home" (home is where the IRS thinks I live) then it is the longest day of the year. So, happy solstice! As a cruising sailor today has significant emotional connotations. Long term cruising viability depends on two things: food and power. It is unlikely that one could catch enough food to survive in the long term. So we provision. Power on the other hand represents a set of trade offs. We can use fuel to move or make water. We use it to run the navigation electronics, communications and lights. Reboot has two sources of fuel: diesel and solar. (Some boats also have wind generators.) Since like food we can only replenish diesel in port solar is a very significant source of power. Today is the worst day for solar power generation. (Yes, rainy and cloudy days are bad but they are not cyclical.) The shortest day means least power generation, the lon…

Solar woes

Having solar panels on a cruising sailboat is just about a given. People talk about how many watts of solar they have. But I was reminded that sometimes it just doesn't work out. On my trip from Gladstone to Cairns I was heading North(ish) the entire way. The sails shaded the solar panels. Even on a bright sunny day I did not get much charge. Fair winds and following seas :)

Not great sailing

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Fair winds and following seas :)Captain Roger J Jones

MOVREP 171835ZJUN2017 Reboot

Underway to Cairns20 15.898 S
148 43.087 E
Course 345 T
Speed 4.0 Knots
Wind SW 10
Wave Flat
Sky Clear with ground haze
Baro 10211 POB + 1 (wonder) cat + cat material
ETA 3 daysCaptain Roger J Jones

Night Lights

I am in the anchorage area of Airlie Beach. Since I am on the edge I leave my AIS on and show an anchor light at night. There are a large number of boats on mooring balls. They don't show anchor lights. At night I feel like I am alone but when the sun comes up i have dozens of boats near me. It is a very strange feeling. Fair winds and following seas :)

Scarry

I recently had a very scarry experience. We who use Facebook all know that we are told that FB is concerned about our privacy. Maybe, but not from FB. Of course the "add friends who are not on Facebook yet" comes from uploading your contacts. Now you can turn this off but that just stops the updates. Apparently you can delete the original upload but I have been unsuccessful finding the switch. But here is what happened that is even more concerning. It happened in "people you might know." One suggestion linked to a beautiful young girl. I had no idea who she was or why she was suggested . After a couple of hours of subconscious though it dawned on me that 20 years ago I knew a man near my age with the same last name. He had a beautiful wife and at least one very young daughter. We have not spoken nor emailed each other in 20 years. My current Facebook email address did not exist 20 years ago. You have guessed the punchline. This beautiful young woman was his grown u…

SITREP 150316ZJUN2017

At anchor, Airlie Beach20 15.309 S
148 43.701 E Interesting transit. Mostly moderate winds and seas. Wind would die at sunset and come back several hours later. Until I got within 25 nm of Airlie Beach. Then 6' waves and 25 knot winds. Made for a long final approach. Now at anchor. Will relax and make sure the anchor has a good set. Into town tomorrow. Fair winds and following seas :)

MOVREP 142100ZJUN2017 (Reboot)

20 37.766 S
149 00.436 E
Course 338 T
Speed 7.0 knots
Wind S 23 G 27
Wave S 4 - 6 feet
Sky 40% Cumulus
Barometer 1024 38.6 NM to Airlie BeachAll OK

MOVREP 091800ZJUN2917

21 55.799 S
150 25.149 E
Course 308 True
Speed 4.5 knots
Wind SSE 18 knots
Wave SW 3-5 feet
Sky 10%
Barometer 1025 142 nm to go All OK. Near Townshend Island. Pretty night. Almost full moon. XO has been very needy. Wants to cuddle for warmth. He had a pukie moment but managed to not throw up. I think he is dealing with a hairball and I will see it soon. Doing some detailed planning for Indonesia. Apparently very few services until we get to Bali. That means being provisioned for the transit and another six weeks. After Airlie Beach I stop in Cairns for mail and on to the rally fleet rendezvous at Thursday Island. It looks to me like the best place to load up will be Arlie. So provisioning like an ocean transit. My wallet will take a hit! One of the hardest things to find when I was island hopping in the Pacific was pet supplies. I will have to bulk up on litter and food. Should be fun to find a place to store everything. Fortunately I took advantage of my Pacific crossing experience an…

Apparent Wind

The wind is so light that even though it is coming almost from the stern the boat motion has shifted it so I am close hauled. No, I am not going anywhere fast. Fair winds and following seas :)

MOVREP (Reboot)

All OK 130321ZJUN2017 22 39.928 S
150 55.961 E
Course 336 T
Speed 4.5 kt Wind S 12.3 (True wind)
Wave WSW 3 feet
Baro 1022 - 2
Sky Clear 211 nm to go Fair winds and following seas :)

Peaked Island

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OK! I am alone out here except for the cat! Fair winds and following seas :)

North to Airlie Beach

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Lots of islands to miss north of Gladstone. Fair winds and following seas :)

Underway Again

After several hours at anchor waiting for the wind shift it finally came. Weird to anchor 3 miles offshore but did not want to drop by mistake on the Great Barrier Reef. Plus, the further one goes in, the further one must sail out. Fair winds and following seas :)

Forecast

Underway to Airlie Beach. The forecast is for winds from the South. I am heading Northeast. Of course the winds are from the Northeast. Quality. Fair winds and following seas :)

XO Prepares for Sea

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Yes, he is under there somewhere. Fair winds and following seas :)

Its Finest Hour

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Is over. Can not complain too much. It lasted 22 years. That is not completely true. This was the GPS readout. The sensor lost its mind in 2007. The readout was still valuable as it got data off the bus. Fa winds and following seas :)

Keeping Watch

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XO on the bridge

Victory

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The new coffee pot!

Aussie Navy

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My new Aussie Navy hat. Fair winds and following seas :)

London Attack

This is not a post about sailing...As I travel the world I am frequently asked about the "gun culture" of the USA. I usually answer that except for acquaintances who hunt and an occasional trip to the range I don't really know much about it other than the right to arm oneself is burned into the American psyche. As I read the most recent news about London it struck me that this could have happened in New York, LA, Chicago (where only gang members carry) or a number of other major cities in the US. All have taken intense steps to disarm their law abiding citizens. Since every major massacre in the US in recent history has taken place in a "gun free zone" this strategy seems to have major problems. I don't know the right answer. But the fact is that there are thousands of these crazy people in Europe and the USA already. More border controls may keep more out but that is just closing the barn door after the horse is gone. I don't see "shelter in place…

Upwind woes

Question:Reboot (a 42' Catalina) is an excellent light air boat. That is great most of the time. Rounding Fisher Island into Hervey Bay (near Bundaberg, Australia) I was confronted with 25 knot winds gusting 30 and 2 meter breaking seas. My destination (Bundaberg) was directly up wind. With my jib set at 30% of "J" I was close to theoretical hull speed. My main was on the "fourth reef", that is the furling bag on the boom. I couldn't point high enough to make any real headway. When I tacked the set and drift nullified my progress. I was solo sailing but considered putting up the main to the third reef to point higher. I was very concerned that I'll lose control if I did. Being solo means all sail changes are very slow. Thoughts on how you would handle this situation?Postscript: Finding myself blown 25 nm north of Bundaberg with wind and wave forecast unchanged for the next three days and low on fuel I boogied to Gladstone. I considered motoring into Bun…

Gladstone

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Yes, it's a major port. The John Wulff. Fair winds and following seas :)

Deck Stuff

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Always interesting what you find on deck after a transit. Fair winds and following seas :)

Tasman Sea

Goodbye to the Tasman sea. Hello again Coral Sea. I was told that the trip to Sydney was pretty easy and the trip back not so much. Sage advice. I left Sydney with two crew. After several days of miserable conditions we decided to go into Scarborough to refuel. They decided to bail as one of them was seasick for the entire trip. I got fuel. The forecast was for strong Southerly winds. Rather than getting beaten up anchored off Scarborough I decided to continue North. Decent trip until I reached the top of Fisher Island. Made the turn and headed for Bundaberg. Which of course was directly upwind. I made it across Hervey Bay in 25 to 30 knot winds and 6 to 9 foot seas. I ended up about 20 nm north of the harbor entrance as that was the best course I could hold. I anchored overnight and rolled and pitched. In the morning the wind had not abated and the forecast was for at least 3 more days of strong southeastern winds. I gave up and decided to head down wind to Gladstone. This of course …

Reboot MOVREP

Wind, waves and the forecast (not to mention my fuel state) are conspiring against making port in Bundaberg. Am heading north to Gladstone.I will miss Bundaberg. It was my first port of call in Australia. Fair winds and following seas :)

US Tax Structure as Candy

Boat Bite

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This is why I always wear a harness, life jacket, and PLB (personal locator beacon) in the cockpit and on deck. I was leaning over the grill to work on something when the grill decided to tip over. It is attached to the safety rail. Over I went with it. Fortunately, I did the drop with the knees and stayed in Reboot. Scary. The tension on the harness was most welcome. I did not, however, emerge unscathed. Fair winds and following seas :)

Nothing is simple

Before we left Sydney I tightened the fan belt on the advice of the mechanic. On our trip across Morton Bay this morning of course it snapped. Fortunately there was no wind and waves so I replaced the belt with no drama. I love cruising. Fair winds and following seas :)

Playing Cards

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Can I put my butt in the middle of the card table?

Reboot at Anchor

270759ZMAY2017
27 12.788 S
153 22.019 EMorton Island
All OK.Off Morton Island

Log Entry 242152ZMAY2017

Verbatim
*******"It has been a very rough trip so far. The weather was pretty when we departed Sydney. Sunny, nice South winds. The wind shifted to the North* directly on our heading. It was so light we could not point worth a darn. Cléia was seasick most of the time. And the battery voltage was low. We kept all the electronics off except the radio and AIS off. Several days of overcast skies and rain, plus we are at the short days and long nights part of the year. The first night we had thunderstorms on my watch as we were making about 1.5 knots. We were almost hit by the C/S Tokyo. We were both running AIS. Why he chose to miss me by 100 feet is beyond me. We tried to tack but the wind was so light and the current so strong. We made almost no headway. Finally out of frustration I decided to motor North to make some progress until the wind changed. We did, which had the effect of charging the batteries. It also burned a lot of fuel for a SOG of about 2 knots. It was very frustrat…

22 May 2017 20:16Z

Reboot33 20.89 S
152 39.02 E
Course 005 True
Speed 2 knotsWinds SE variable below 10 knots
Seas SE 1.5 meters
Sky 80%
Bar 1023 steadyA long night. First sail with Clélia and Camille. We made it out of Sydney Harbor under sail and then slowly turned North as the wind shifted. We were doing OK until about 10 pm local. At that point there was a thunderstorm ahead of us. We turned East for the rest of the night. We are now well East of our track and have made very little progress North. The good news is we avoided the thunderstorm. Sunrise was welcomed as I had been cold all night. Battery voltage is a concern. After overcast skies for a couple of days the batteries were not topped off when we left. Since we sailed rather than motored we did not generate electricity from the engine. As a result we ran a one hour charge from the engine in the middle of the night. Fair winds and following seas :)

Underway

Cast off, heading out of Sydney. North (but not to Alaska!)Roger / Reboot / W2ZDB / WDB8435

New Crew

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Ah. New crew. New things to cover in fur! Fair winds and following seas :)

State of the Nation

As I travel around the world I am often asked about US politics. These questions have intensified since the election of President Trump. I choose to keep my blog politically neutral. However when one adds BRIXIT, the recent French election and the daily tweetstorm about President Trump I found this article enlightening and distressing. So, nope, not about dirty hulls or great anchorages. 100% political.http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/19/watching-slow-motion-coup-detat/#.WR84WAG5yHY.twitter

Embarrassing

In the spirit of sharing I will take one for the team. Those who follow my blog know that we have been having propulsion problems. First step was to dive on the boat and make sure the prop was not fouled. It was cold, I am old, so a crew member checked it out. Nothing obvious. Next high drama with the engine. Filters, air cleaner, bleeding, etc. Multiple expensive Uber trips for parts. Lots of smell. No joy. Next excellent mechanic (Ian Hume at Hume Marine Sydney (+61 4488 14087) Nope, engine and transmission are fine. Professional diver (Barry at Harbour Dive Sydney +61 (0) 424 638 677.) Shaft and cutless bearing look fine. Folding prop folding fine. "Oh, by the way, lots on marine growth on the prop. Should we clean it?" "Please." Clean prop. Problem solved. Duh!!!!!!Special kudos to the Australian Department of Biosecurity who offered to work out a way to get Reboot hauled with XO on board. Fortunately it did not come to that. Occam's Razor........ Fair wind…

Ready to Rally

It looks like our problems are resolved. Plan to depart for Cairns next weather window. Fair winds and following seas :)

The fourth picture.

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After great demand (one reader.) Hope I finally got it right. The fourth picture.

Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, a French actress (and possible prostitute) who like "the Polastron," escaped the Revolution.  She married Richard Wellesley the first Marquis Wellesley, after they lived together for quite a while and had a few children.  One of same, to wit Anne Wellesley, is in Queen Elizabeth's (and therefore Prince Chuck's and Duke William's and Prince George's line, via her mother the Queen Mother's mother's.
Princess Frederica (or Fredericke) is in a private collection.

The Duchesse de Polignac is at the Museum of Versailles and the Trianon

The self-portrait is at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas

Hyacinthe Roland, the Queen's ancestor, is the Legion of Honor building of the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts
Fair winds and following seas :)




Biblical

Back to sailing... And [Job] said, (...): the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD". Had we not had engine problems we would be in the Whitsundays where the forecast is for gale force winds and torrential (but not biblical) rains. Fair winds and following seas :)

Fwd: Vigée Portraits in Your Blog

I call my brother "the font of all wisdom." And he is. And I love him. So the attached. Re the missing portrait: for some reason it would not download. Sad because she was by far the most beautiful and scandalous. PS Next he will tell me where they are hung so you can see them in person.
Hi:

You've got them labeled wrong, Roger.
In your post, the first on the left (big hair, off the shoulder dress) is Hyacinthe Roland, the Queen's ancestor. The second (white blouse, red ribbon) is the artist, Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. The third (dressed in "Shepherdess Chic") is the Duchess of Polignac.
You're missing Frederick the Great's niece, Princess Frederica.
All of these portraits, seen live, are quite stunning.  Vigée ravishes her viewers with painterly reality.  They are alive on the canvass.  Frederica and Polignac are particularly captivating.

English Queens

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This is a very politically incorrect post. Do not read on if easily offended. In the spirit of humor.We (the "Royal we") are aware that the current Duchess of Cambridge is quite attractive. So was Lady Diana. So the question is: Was Queen Hillary's failed coronation an consequence of losing out in the looks contest to Melania Trump? For comparison lets look at some historical English Queens in the photos attached.Now as for quality looks, let me offer up these three women, all painted by Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
#1:  Princess Frederika Louisa Dorothea Phillippine von Hohenzollern, a niece of Frederick the Great, later Princess Radziwill by marriage.
#2:  Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, later Duchesse de Polignac by marriage, a great favorite of Marie Antoinette.
#3:  The artist in an early self-portrait.

Batteries die in darkness*

Since Reboot spends months away from shore power I am always very cognizant of the battery voltage. I have noticed recently that they don't seem to be getting quite the charge they have been getting in the past. Since I recently replaced both the batteries and the solar controllers this has been a bit of concern. This morning I had a epiphany. It's fall. We are only getting 10 1/2 hours of sunlight (here down under.) The charge cycles are shorter, the discharge cycles longer. The battery voltage reflects that. Not really a big deal. We are talking about a 0.1 volt difference. But I do notice it. Where it does really show up is in cruising. When the electric autopilot, the multifunction display, the VHF, the AIS and the tricolor are running all night there is quite a noticeable difference. (Yes, I use the Monitor wind steering, keep the multifunction display at minimum intensity, and have LED bulbs.) Fair winds and following seas :) * Warning - this part gets political. Stop re…

Elevator

Elevator we got the shaft. It turns out that the problem does not seem to be the engine or transmission but rather the drive shaft is binding. You know, the one I paid $3,000 to have replaced 8 months ago! Fair winds and following seas:)

Uber (revisited)

Today I asked my Uber driver how long he had been driving for Uber. "15 months." He has a perfect 5 .0 rating. He didn't know. Amazing! Fair winds and following seas :)

Stuck in Sydney

Still no joy on debugging the diesel engine. Mechanic to arrive this morning at 8:30. At 9:30 still no mechanic. Text. At 10:30 get reply. Will come tomorrow. Wonderful. Fair winds and following seas:)

Uber

Uber is a great service for world cruisers. Not only is it cheaper than cabs but the drivers have a lot of local knowledge. When public transit doesn't go where I want or takes too much time I Uber. I was surprised to find out from my driver the other day that they don't know the destination when they accept the ride. It is not disclosed until you are in the car. So no turning down rides that they don't want. Interesting. Fair winds and following seas :)

Beautiful

Filter wrench

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Bought a new filter wrench yesterday. We now have four (4) on Reboot. No clue where I stored the other three! Fair winds and following seas :)

Indefinite Delay

Reboot is still in (Sydney) Hunters Bay. We have clogged fuel filters and are waiting for spares. Fair winds and following seas :)

Voltmeter

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A "marine" digital voltmeter costs 220 USD. A digital ammeter the same. This cost me $1.98 from Hong Kong. With a bit of drilling and filing Manuel and I got it mounted where it can be seen from anywhere in the salon. Fair winds and following seas :)

Departure (delayed)

(Thunderstorms in forecast. Delaying until risk passes.)Leaving Sydney today. Heading north. May stop to see Aimee in Bundaberg. ETA Bundaberg 8 days. 3 pob + 1 cat. Daily position report via sat phone to WINLINK. Fair winds and following seas. :)Roger Jones/Sailboat Reboot
US Doc 1046300/Sail # USA 60493
Radio WDB8435/W2ZDB

Sydney departure

Leaving Sydney today. Heading north. May stop to see Aimee (biosecurity) in Bundaberg. ETA Bundaberg 8 days. 3 pob + 1 cat. Daily position report via sat phone to WINLINK. Fair winds and following seas. :)Roger Jones/Sailboat Reboot
US Doc 1046300/Sail # USA 60493
Radio WDB8435/W2ZDB
+61 (0) 476 768 335

Radar

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Reboot finally has a working radar again. When arriving in Brisbane the radar failed. In addition the mast bracket came loose. I shipped the unit off to Garmin™. They replaced it promptly with a refurbished unit with a one year warranty. I love this company. They have treated me exceptionally well. The problem was how as a solo sailor I was going to get the new unit up on the mast. Enter Manuel, my new crew for the trip to Cairns. Together we could do this. And we* did. But it took 6 hours on the mast. First we had to find new fasteners. That took four stores and several hours. Although Australia has decent stores they don't carry the diversity of stock found in the U.S. We finally found a specialty fastener store that carried the right size. Then we discovered that the old fasteners for the bracket did not want to come out. After several failed strategies we borrowed a hacksaw from the marina and cut them out. (Yes, Reboot has a hacksaw somewhere, in some locker ...) Next was g…

World of Warcraft

Centigrade to Fahrenheit

For those of us culturally challenged by the metric system a quick trick to choose you attire. Fair winds and following seas :)http://www.fodors.com/community/africa-the-middle-east/a-little-trick-for-converting-centigrade-to-fahrenheit.cfm

Breaking in the Nube (Manuel)

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Enough said.

Rugby

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Photo from the rugby night.

Scooter Day

Was on the back seat of a scooter for the first time in a very long time. Manuel, my new crew came to Reboot today. He still has his scooter so we used it to run errands. It took me quite a while to settle down and feel comfortable. Although there are far more shopping opportunities here in Sydney we went to three stores before we found one with pop rivets in the correct size. I also bought a spool of wire as the per meter cost was quite a bit more. Tomorrow if it is quiet I will climb the mast and put the radar bracket back up. Fair winds and following seas :)

Cat in a cabinet

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Open a cabinet, find a cat! I opened this cabinet to get out XO's food. Came back, found XO. Fair winds and following seas :)

Aussie Day

On Friday I had an Aussie day. I was invited to a barbeque on Bondi Beach. Then we went to watch New South Wales lose at rugby. On to a house party. Which was broken up by a neighbor at 2300 because "you are making too much noise." Then to Bondi Junction to go clubbing. But we faded quickly and went home. A fun day. Fair winds and following seas :)

New Jib

It was quiet this morning and I had help so we got the new jib out of the bag and up on the forestay. It is an ocean jib so it was really stiff. Even though Neil Pryde has made earlier jibs there is always that moment when you wonder if it will fit. And yes it did. It looks very nice all furled up. Fair winds and following seas :)

Safety

Yesterday I was with the guys who drive the launch. They mentioned that one of their rental boats had gone aground in an area that is (of course) forbidden for renters. They were going over to recover it. I had been swimming so I volunteered to come as someone would need to swim to shore. When we got to the site the waves were running 2 to 3 meters and the boat had broached and was sideways on the beach. We took one look and abandoned the effort. Today the marina work barge came out to pick me up. I asked about the launch. They told me that this morning they had gone back to recover the rental boat. Apparently the waves were much lower. The location is a straight shot from the harbor entrance so there is almost always swell. They got a line tied to the beached boat. As they tried to pull it off they were picked up by a wave and the rescue boat was thrown on shore. So now there are two broken boats. Apparently they were able to get the rescue boat launched and back to Balmoral but the…

That airy feeling

Today I was walking back to the dock and felt airy. Sure enough, got back to Reboot and discovered a rip in the seat of my pants. At least my boxers were clean! Fair winds and following seas :)

Imponderable

Why does red Locktite™ come in a blue tube and blue Locktite™ come in a red tube? Fair winds and following seas :)

Tune in, turn on, drop out.

Wth due defence to Timothy Leary this is actually a post about sailing. I am getting ready to head north as the hurricane season ends. So each day I turn everything on. And some of it doesn't turn on. Corrosion is a major problem on boats. I have learned the hard way not to wait until the last minute to test all the systems. Fair winds and following seas :)

The "paywall" and "free" advertising

This is a rant. Be warned.......[rant]I have two modes when it comes to the Internet. When underway or anchorage hopping I tend to ignore it. When it allows me to procrastinate in port I spend far too much time on it. Which brings me to my rant. As someone who travels from country to country I typically buy Internet access by the megabyte. I have concluded that my actual cost of access is 2x to 4x what I actually read. The reason: advertising (I never respond); sign up your friends (I never do); you might be interested in this (I never am); "sponsored posts" (a dimwit name for a paid advertisement that I never respond to); prefetch (downloading content I might look at (but never do) ; memories (that I don't care about); and so forth. The only solution is to avoid those sites. The current environment is worse than watching broadcast TV. So I am disciplining myself to limit my interactions to the absolute minimum. That brings me to the "paywall." For years the …

An excellent article.

For those of you who love the "administrative state" realize that every President gets to replace the administrators. I have long held the view that "outsourcing" law to " administrators" and "experts" is not only unconstitutional but a really bad idea ( like sailing into a hurricane or me getting married again!)

XO is greatly relieved. Taiwan bans slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption - BBC News

The simplest things

It was unseasonably cold this morning in Sydney. I decided to fire up my cabin heater. I has to remove the sea cover for the first time in about 1 1/2 years. Yes. The wing nut spins. So does the screw. In 58 F temps and 20 knot winds I decided to take refugee in the cafe on shore. Tomorrow when it warms up I will attack the problem. Fair winds and following seas :)

Young Endeavor

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Got a visit this morning from the Young Endeavor. They came in last night. We took the Balmoral Boatshed launch out to say hi.https://www.youngendeavour.gov.au

Sunshine

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I don't need a sleep mask. I use my tail.

Fact Checking

This article is great. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39180855Fair winds and following seas :)

Sunshine

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After almost one month of daily rain XO enjoys a sunny morning. Fair winds and following seas :)

Biosecurity Visit

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Matt comes to Reboot to check on XO (The Wonder Cat.) Fair winds and following seas :)

My coffee lady

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One end of the launch run is Reboot, the other is coffee. Fair winds and following seas :)

$1.00 Flyswatter

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Next time I will go for the $2.00 model. Fair winds and following seas :)

No Rules

Like most production boats Reboot has Rule™ bilge pumps and float switches. They claim the lifetime of the switch is longer than my projected lifetime. Not so much. The good news is that the bracket is a snap in saving me all sorts of work. Mission accomplished. Fair winds and following seas :)

Bugs

The natural kind. One of the first rules of cruising is to never let cardboard on your boat. It is well known that cockroaches lay eggs in cardboard. In the past couple of days I have had a different twist. Flies. All of a sudden I have had a bunch of flies on Reboot. They were not healthy. That is they were easy to kill. I finally traced the source. At least I think I did. The boxes of kitty litter. When I opened one I discovered plastic bags of litter inside. Since then I have removed all of the litter from the boxes and the boxes from Reboot. No more flies. Fair winds and following seas :)